Family and Society: May 2007 Archives

Natural Sex


Another worthy piece from the June 05 Touchstone: Frederica Mathewes-Green on the natural meaning of human sexuality, including this nugget from what was probably a sidebar in the print issue but is tacked on to the end of the online article:

Old Married Sex My generation found out, to our astonishment, that sexual attractiveness does not last. Even the hottest stars of the 1960s are forty years older today. Even the hottest bods of today are going to be ten years older ten years from now. Ten years from now, there will be a whole crop of brand-new gorgeous young people who are ten years younger than they are. Every decade a new crop of beautiful twenty-year-olds will roll off the assembly line.

My generation somehow didn’t think that would happen. We thought we would always be the younger generation. We thought we’d always set the standard for what it means to be sexy and gorgeous. We made fun of old married people, the ones who got hitched, settled down, had kids, had mortgages, and thirty years later were having old-married-people sex with each other.

It turns out that, even if you make fun of people like that, you still get old anyway. The alternative is not staying young forever; the alternative is being just as old, and not having formed any lasting relationship, and going to bed most nights by yourself. You’re not having old-married-people sex; you’re not having sex with anybody.


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This made it's way around St. Blogs a week or so ago, but I just got to see it for the first time.


His parents blog is here.

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Children, Family, Community,


One new, two old from Touchstone.

New, from the May 2007, Allan Carlson takes us on a brief tour of 400 years of Protestant history on the question of artificial contraception.

Old, from May 2005, but available online for the first time now, John F. Kippley addresses illegitimacy and Anthony Esolen turns the Good Samaritan around: how we can treat people like they are our neighbor when we don't have any?

It was bad enough that the industrial revolution took men (and very often women) from their homes and set them to toil in the brick monster a mile away; but at least the children knew where the monster was and could themselves go there, if they had not already themselves been impressed into that maw. It was worse when the breadwinning father had to work in some office out of town, only appearing at the end of a frustrating day or on weekends.

But now the culture of personal achievement and illusory autonomy—which is to say, the culture of total work, that has turned Sunday into at best a brief restorative for the infinitely more important Monday, if Sunday is not already Monday along with all the other days of the week—this paltry culture, I say, has atoned for removing the father from the home by removing the mother, too. The results are ghost towns, rich in things (and not even so dreadfully rich in those, either, once the unnecessary bills and the taxes are paid) and poor in soul.

No children crisscross the backyards of their playmates, because they have no playmates, nor do they even know the names of the people who own the yards. Nor are there the shouts of children to cheer the heart; those who have been graciously allowed to live, live under a sort of parole, whereby they are trucked before breakfast far away to a gaily postered miserable asylum, and then are trucked back to the groomed lawn and flophouse just before sundown.

If some delinquent child should venture onto the street before his male or female parent has returned from the commissariat, and bust up his knees by falling from his bicycle, he can cry all he wants. Nobody will hear him. The society of women is no more. There are no mothers who are not your own mother, and your own mother is not around, and, if she is around (let the truth be told), often enough she is no great shakes either. You are an appendage, or appendix, to her career, and you know it.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family and Society category from May 2007.

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